Messiah Lutheran Church -- Charlotte, NC
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8300 Providence Rd. just south of the Arboretum and Hwy 51 (Pineville-Matthews Rd).  Map.


May 2016 Message PDF Print E-mail

 

 

Filled with the Spirit

Pastor Tim Baldinger

 

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 (ESV)

            I have a number of “sayings” that I read to myself as part of my regular devotions. One of them goes like this, “The human spirit fails us unless the Holy Spirit fills us.” I have experienced the truth of this saying countless times. Each such experience is a reminder of just how much I need, depend, hunger, long for the Spirit of the Living God to fill me, empower me, guide me, convict me and comfort me.

            Jesus said this would be true over and over again in his last words to his disciples before dying on the cross as recorded in John 14 through his prayer in 17. Even after the resurrection, in the context of the joy and excitement that the disciples felt in seeing that Jesus really was alive and therefore victorious over all his enemies, Jesus told them to go back into the city of Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit… He who would come 10 days later on the day that we celebrate as Pentecost. When we read the last few verses in the Gospel of Luke, we see, and maybe even feel a little of, the excitement that the disciples felt… so much so that they were CONTINUALLY meeting together in the temple, and therefore no longer hiding behind closed doors. The point being: they were ready and motivated to talk about Jesus and the resurrection.

            But Jesus said, “Wait,” wait for the Power from on High.” Wait for the Holy Spirit and then you will be truly ready to “be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

            No matter how energized we are, no matter how motivated we are, no matter how clear before us the path we should take. WE NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT. Our commitment of mind and heart, no matter how strong, will not sustain us. And that is especially true when the going gets rough and our path in life takes what might feel like ‘wicked’ twists and turns. The human spirit will fail us.

            Jesus' words in John are so important for our Christian living. He promised not to leave us alone but to send the Comforter – the Holy Spirit, “who will teach us all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have commanded.” The Comforter, who prays for us with “sighs too deep for words” when the circumstances of life have no words to describe them. The Spirit of Truth who helps us discern the truth in the midst of all the alluring errors. The Spirit who convicts us of the sin that would separate us from God and lead us toward death, and then immediately comforts us with the amazing truth of forgiveness of EVERY SIN due to the historical death and resurrection of Jesus. The Spirit who does so much more than what I have shared here.

            May 15th of 2016, we will celebrate once again Pentecost when Jesus' promise of the Spirit's coming was fulfilled. On that day, Jesus’ Church was born, and you and I each have become a part of that Church when we received that very same Spirit in the waters of Baptism. So, as St. Paul instructed the Galatians in Galatians 5:25, “if we live by the Spirit (and we surely do), let us walk by the Spirit.” When the Holy Spirit fills us, our human spirit has what it needs to live the live Jesus died to give us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Pastor

Pastor

Sample ImagePastor Steve was born and raised in Oregon. After graduating from Willamette University with degrees in German and International Studies, he worked in various vocations that taught him how to work in teams with diverse people.  As a project manager in the computer tech industry in the 90’s, he began to feel God’s call to become a pastor. In 2003, he took a huge leap of faith, selling his business and two homes to drive to Saint Louis for the first time and begin Seminary training.

 

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